Here’s UT’s policy: “One’s own use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent from the other person. Moreover, another person’s use of alcohol, drugs, or other substances does not diminish one’s responsibility to obtain consent from that person.”
The problem with this is that they then start talking about victims and perpetrators. If both people are drunk, each is both a victim and a perpetrator; simply assuming that the male is the perpetrator and the female the victim is sexist — and, in itself, is sex discrimination in violation of Title IX. Indeed, even describing the policy to students in a way that suggests that males are the perpetrators in such circumstances is sex discrimination. And everything people say like that, in newspapers and elsewhere, will become part of the record in lawsuits filed by people like Ben Rose. So at least it’s good for lawyers.
I’m also disappointed to see a UT person citing the notion that only 1 to 2 percent of rape reports are false, when, as Bloomberg’s Megan McArdle says, “The 2 percent number is very bad and should never be cited.” Indeed, the article doesn’t even get that right — the 1 to 2 percent figure doesn’t come from the FBI, but from feminist writer Susan Brownmiller. The FBI number is 8 percent, and as McArdle notes, that’s generally regarded as too low. Some other studies give a number as high as 41 percent. This sort of recitation of bogus statistics may give rise to fears that the process is biased. It certainly would constitute evidence of bias in a lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the more articles like this that appear in student papers, the bigger enrollment problems colleges and universities will face. With people already writing about The End Of College, turning campuses into Brave New World without the sex is poor marketing. A better solution would be to treat rape charges as the serious crimes they are, and let law enforcement, not student disciplinary officials, deal with them. Creating a special, due-process-free disciplinary process for crimes that are portrayed as being committed solely by males is itself evidence of sex discrimination and a hostile education environment.
UPDATE: Of course, I could just be talking my book, as they say: